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Stop all the clocks

August 2, 2009

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message [She] Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

[She] was [our] North, [our] South, [our] East and West,
[Our] working week and [our] Sunday rest,
[Our] noon, [our] midnight, [our] talk, [our] song;
[We] thought that love would last for ever: [we were] wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

–W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks

I tweeted a few weeks back that most of my childhood icons were either dead or dying. And obviously now, I am left with one person less. I was one of those Martial Law Babies, children of the ebb who grew consciousness under the cloud of fear. This was a big deal when I was growing up, when we watched the sunset with trepidation and ran as fast as we could to our house because darkness was coming. Fear was too literal for us. Back then, the words Marcos and martial law were effective tools to keep our mouths shut, to keep us from running towards the fields, or to make us eat our dinner. Naive as it may seem, but when the Woman in Yellow came, there was the promise of change, no, not the promise really, but change incarnate. Fear was lifted from my young shoulders.

Later on I knew that having no fear and accepting the freedom had its consequences and responsibilities. The overall post-EDSA mood was conflicted and stagnant, and it came at a very wrong time when I was entering the adolescent phase. Just as I was trying to find my proverbial place in this world, so too was the country, and there was no consolation in having the same sentiment as everybody else. There was more to come with the guy with the tobacco, but after that, no more.

At the very least, I am not scared anymore. That is what I have to thank for to the Woman in Yellow. There were occasional outbursts of paranoia, but I knew, as it was 23 years ago, that fear is temporary and it shall lead to fresh starts which are very, very normal.

*I’m trying out a new sigil.

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